This scheme allows you to buy a share in a property and then pay rent on the remaining part. This means you can start of paying the mortgage that you can afford and then overtime buy a bigger share of the property when your finances allow, this process is called ‘staircasing’.
To qualify for the scheme, you need to have a household income of less than £80,000 and less than £90,000 if you live in London.
To be eligible to buy a home through Help to Buy: Shared Ownership in England you’ll need to:
- Have a household income of £80,000 a year or less outside London, or £90,000 a year or less in London.
- Own no other property (you cannot be a homeowner or be named on the deeds of another property).
- Have no outstanding credit issues.
Properties that can be purchased through shared ownership are from Housing Associations and can either be new builds or resales of existing shared-ownership properties. When purchasing a shared ownership property you will work with a Home Buy agent, who will manage your application.
Other shared ownership schemes
There are other schemes that offer shared routes to shared ownership and are focused on particular groups.
HOLD (Home Ownership for people with Long-Term Disabilities)
This scheme helps assist people with long-term disabilities to purchase a home and live independently. As with other shared ownership schemes, you buy an initial share and then more shares as you can afford it from the Housing Association or Registered provider. The difference, however, is that if the properties available are not suitable to accommodate your needs, you may be able to buy a property from the open market. This requires a referral to a specialist provider and your local authority to validate the application. It is a voluntary scheme and as a result not necessarily available throughout the UK.
OPSO – Older People’s Shared Ownership
Supporting people over 55 to home ownership, it follows the same principles as other shared ownership schemes but the properties available are exclusively for those over the age of 55. The maximum you can own however is 75% of the property and if you do so, you will not have to pay rent on the remaining 25%.
If you already have a property this will need to be sold before applying to the scheme.
Extra Care is an extension provided by some OPSO schemes and is a Sheltered Shared Ownership scheme, which provides the added benefit of onsite care. This allows residents to live independently in self-contained, modern homes with access to tailored care package and support programme.
Rent to Buy (available in England, excluding London)
Rent to Buy is another route to shared ownership for those who haven’t yet been able to save the 5% deposit that is required. Housing Associations and registered providers offer homes to rent, the rents are typically about 20% less than the open market rent, giving you an opportunity to save a deposit. You will also be given the option in the future to purchase a share of your home and staircase up as you are able to invest more in your home.